Category — Wedding Officiant

Interfaith Rabbi? Check.

Posted by Laura N.
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“Well, we’ll have to see if we can find someone who will officiate,” my mom said when I told her Rick and I planned to have a Jewish wedding. I knew this, of course: Most rabbis, including those at the temple to which my mother and stepfather belong, won’t perform interfaith weddings. But hearing my mother say this worried me a little. What if we couldn’t find someone to perform a Jewish wedding? What if we had to be married by a judge?

Luckily, I didn’t have to entertain these possibilities for very long. As soon as my parents began talking to people, it became apparent that we had options: a cousin who performed wedding ceremonies and could add some Jewish flavor, a Jewish educator who’d wowed guests with the ceremony he performed at my mom’s boss’ daughter’s wedding, a rabbi we knew from Chicago who we might be able to coax to fly to Houston to perform the ceremony, the cantor at the other major reform congregation in Houston. All decent possibilities, but none that made us say, “That’s the one!” We decided to go with the cantor.

That is, until my mother spoke with our temple’s head rabbi, who mentioned that one of the temple’s former assistant rabbis still lived in town and officiated interfaith weddings. We remembered the rabbi well: She had a beautiful voice and gave wonderful sermons. She was very personable. Just the kind of person we wanted to officiate our wedding. A couple of phone calls and emails later, we had ourselves a rabbi.

Last month, we had lunch with our rabbi. She went through all of the Jewish wedding rituals with us to help determine which ones we wanted to incorporate into our wedding. “This ceremony should be something you’re both comfortable with, something that reflects the two of you,” she said.

While we’re incorporating almost all of the elements we discussed that day, we’ve since come up with a few twists of our own, after reading Anita Diamant’s wonderful book The New Jewish Wedding.

Photo credit: Mixed Blessing

September 14, 2009   4 Comments